Separate Togetherness

‘The most profound technologies are those that disappear. They weave themselves into the fabric of everyday life until they are indistinguishable from it.’

Separate Togetherness is the the result of my research into augmented digital environments and ubiquitous computing. Intentionally or not, advancements in digital technology have catered for a very natural, psychological human need; togetherness.

On its own, the Internet as a tool for information retrieval is a relatively lonely place void of human contact, thus the success of social media on the Internet is no coincidence, people need people, and providing a gateway into the lives of others means that the Internet can again fulfil this human need.  In our digital environment, closeness can happen over huge distances, and others have the opportunity to shape and augment your environment within the premise of a digitally constructed space.

From my research, I considered the extrusion of screen-based connectivity into the surrounding, architectural environment. As a result I concluded with a collection of products that connect distant environments by reacting and responding to the movements and interactions of distant users. The products each interact, and aim to engage with your peripheral awareness as an alternative means of attaining distant closeness. Each product is made using a combination of smart materials that respond by slowly and subtly changing appearance to communicate remote presence.

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Objects1  DSC02176web




The objects consist of; 1. A lamp made with phosphorescent pigment and polyester resin, the lamp glows in response to distant changes in lighting detected by a secondary objects consisting of a light sensor and wireless Arduino. 2. A textile that reveals layers of colours in response to a distant touch pad consisting of piezo elements, detecting pressure when stroked. 3. A mirror made of thermochromic pigment and epoxy resin, which changes colour in response to a distant breath.
More images to come…


Special thanks to research engineer, Sami Sabik who made this project possible.